House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) released the following statement today on the passage of a Democratic budget by the House of Representatives:
"The Democratic budget resolution passed today by the House of Representatives builds on the historical funding increases for veterans programs last year, recognizes the needs faced by America's veterans today, and invests in our veterans for tomorrow. In this time of war, as we continue to send men and women into harm's way, we must be committed and prepared to fully provide the resources to care for these heroes upon their return - and this budget does that."
"The Democratic budget resolution rejects the Bush Administration's plan to institute enrollment fees and increase pharmacy copayments - a plan that would effectively force many veterans out of the VA system. This budget also rejects the President's proposed cuts to new facility construction projects and cuts to medical and prosthetic research programs at the VA. The Democratic budget resolution provides needed funding to care for our returning service members and provide more comprehensive mental health care and resources to address the needs of homeless veterans.
"Taking care of our veterans when they return home is a continuing cost of war. The Democratic leadership recognizes this truth and has provided for a budget that exceeds the Independent Budget's request for veterans' funding. I am proud to have the support of this group of dedicated leaders and veterans service groups."